Ah, the holidays. Time for cheer (stress), gifts (more stress), music (uh yeah, stress), family (STRESS!) and, of course, holiday goodies (Stre… wait, YUM!) My favorite part about the holidays are the goodies – my mother’s fruitcake, pretty decorated cookies, peppermint candies and gingerbread. It is so fun to give (and receive) handmade edible treats this time of year.
Every once in a while you come across someone who is truly genuine. Someone who doesn’t compromise himself for fame or fortune or the chance to be the next new thing. A person who clings to honesty and authenticity in all he stands for. I met a person last weekend who has such character and it was truly refreshing and, I must say, impressive. That person is Mat Kearney. You might have heard his popular single, Nothing Left to Lose. But what you probably don’t know is that he is inspired by hip hop music, he grew up amongst vineyards in Eugene, Oregon and he has collaborated with Peju vineyards to create a fantastic Bordeaux style wine that he is rightfully enthusiastic about.
Holiday cooking makes me think cocktail parties. Cocktail parties make me think appetizers and, in my world, appetizers always have to include a bruschetta! Bruschetta is traditionally a grilled piece of bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil and can have any number and combinations of toppings. Everything from the traditional tomato basil topping to sweet dessert-like toppings can be used. Since this tasty little concoction can be made pretty much any way you want, I thought why not simplify the holiday party and make it bruschetta-themed? Throwing a holiday party can be stressful if you have a lot of prepping and cooking to do. But throwing a cocktail party themed with different bruschetta can be fun and hassle-free!
If you are Pinterest junkie like me, you’ve probably been inundated by the holiday pictures already with everything from making your own paper maché stockings to unique gifts made from paperclips. Don’t get me wrong. I love perusing some of the crazy ideas and the really good ones. It’s a great source to find inspiration for just about anything you might need inspiration for.
Lately, my Pinterest homepage has been churning out stovetop potpourri recipes. Sure, boiling a huge pot of fruit and spices will make your house smell amazeballs but then what are you going to do with it? Leave it on your stove? Dump it out? I have a better solution. Why not cook up a huge pot of fruit and spices that will not only make your house smell like an enchanted holiday fruit forest but that you can also taste as well as sniff?
This morning I woke up to read the latest reports of the carnage that happened on Black Friday. People were trampling over each other at department stores across the country, numerous shootings were reported and someone even stabbed another in the stomach here in San Diego County. And for what. $50 TV’s? Half off the latest gaming system? T-shirts for a dollar? A WalMart spokesperson reportedly announced that they beefed up their security this year to help reduce the number of incidents, but I wonder, what is wrong with us as a society when we are willing to assault another person for something so trivial. And, are these stores really doing all they can to keep this craziness from happening in the first place?
So it’s the day before Thanksgiving and you’re freaking out because you haven’t bought the essentials yet. When you finally make it to the insane madness called the grocery store the night before the Thanksgiving, you find they only have 20 pound frozen turkeys left. Aaaak! What to do? Well don’t fret, my friends. I have a solution for all you slackers out there that will allow you to serve a whole Thanksgiving meal in one dish.